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On disc: Manowar

Warriors Of The World - Joao Santos - 6 stars
Hell On Earth 4 (DVD) - Eamon O'Connor -  
The Sons Of Odin - Claudia Ehrhardt - 3 stars
Gods Of War Live - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
Thunder In The Sky (EP) - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Thunder In The Sky (EP) - Thomas Gr÷blinghoff - 7 stars

Thunder In The Sky (EP)

Thunder In The Sky (EP)
(Magic Circle Music - 2009)

Manowar present now an EP called Thunder In The Sky which is a kind of appetizer for the coming Asgard saga, a cooperation with fantasy novelist Wolfgang Hohlbein.
The title track is an up-tempo tune, guitar-driven and with the typical vocals of Eric Adams, then a break and they continue balladesque... Then they speed up and return to the opening theme, but the song lacks the magic of the Manowar classics... No bad songs, but also no Manowar hymn. A bit closer to their classics they get with the anthem-like Let The Gods Decide, again it's no ear catcher, but I guess the fans will like it anyway. With Father they present a cheesy ballad based on acoustic guitar and Adams' voice, but later the others join in and also the symphonic elements are back. The track Die With Honor isn't something new for Manowar fans, and perhaps the most typical Manowar tune at Thunder In The Sky... Very symphonic is The Crown And The Ring (metal version), but actually to me it sounds almost the same... Okay, they add some riffing. Anyway, it's still a great one. The closer is God Or Man, a fast one with fast double-bass drumming and heavy riffs. The heaviest tune of the EP and even if it isn't as strong as one of their classics, it's one of the stronger songs.
As usual Manowar have something special for their fans and so the EP has a bonus CD which contains 15 versions of the ballad Father, so Eric Adams sang this one in 16 different languages. A way to say thanks to their fans and with the help of fans the lyrics been translated. The first version is a Bulgarian one, a language you usually don't hear that often. Quite interesting. In French the song sounds even more emotional while the German version reminds me a bit of Herz aus Stahl... The Japanese version sticks out a bit, but just because we aren't used to hear Japanese lyrics. The same can be said about the Polish version and the Turkish version.
Manowar fans will get a copy of the EP anyway, even if they aren't back as strong as they have been, they are doing better then on their last studio album. Let's wait and see what they will offer us with Asgard!

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Thunder In The Sky (EP)

Thunder In The Sky (EP)
(Magic Circle Music - 2009)

What can I say? Well, I'm glad that Manowar finally release something. The EP Thunder In The Sky - The Asgard Saga offers 6 songs which are all well done, but they can't keep up with the band's classics. The faster tunes are Thunder In The Sky, Let The Gods Decide and God Or Men additionally you'll get the epic ballad Father as well as a new version of Crown And The Ring. The EP comes with a bonus CD which presents Father in 15 different languages - incl. German. The booklet has the lyrics in English and German as well as the Asgard saga (also in English and German). A quite interesting package and now it's all wait and see what the album will bring us... next year.

7 stars

Thomas Gr÷blinghoff
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)


>Gods Of War Live

Gods Of War Live
(Magic Circle Music - 2007)

The New York kings of metal are presenting a live album which was just recorded during their tour earlier this year.
The album starts off with the words of Orson Wells which were used as an intro, just to lead into Manowar! With Gods Of War the guys presented their 10th studio album in the beginning of 2007 - and they entered the charts in some countries! Soon after the release they came to Europe to play some shows for their loyal fans. And so the live album not just contains songs from the current release, they also played some Manowar classics fans were requesting again and again like Mountains. As usual the bass is very prominent in their sound which is based on riffs. Very powerful and crystal-clear is the sound of the album. The first disc delivers old classics and some tracks which rarely been played live, so this CD should satisfy every true metal fan. On disc no. 2 they present Gods Of War live... and so it starts with spoken words - The Blood Of Odin - into the opus about Odin. Very epic and bombastic, very Manowar. And Eric Adams with a lot of pathos in his voice tells Odin's story. But I think their fans know the story, so they could have skipped the spoken word parts, but well... In my opinion live the album would be stronger without the spoken words parts. Anyway, this live album gives every Manowar fan what he wants - old stuff or their latest work live.
A cool package with a big booklet with tons of photos. The double CD will be sold for the price of a regular CD and so every true metal fan should get a copy. Additionally they added on disc 2 a live clip of Gods Of War. Value for money. A treat for metal warriors! The metal kings are back!

Track list:

CD 1
Call To Arms
Gloves Of Metal
Each Dawn I Die
Holy War
The Oath
Secret Of Steel
Son Of William's Tale
The Gods Made Heavy Metal
Die For Metal
Kings Of Metal
Warriors Of The World United
Black Wind, Fire And Steel

The Blood Of Odin
The Sons Of Odin
Glory Majesty Unity
Gods Of War
Army Of The Dead
Hymn Of The Immortal Warrior
The Crown And The Ring
Gods Of War - Live (video part)

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt

The Sons Of Odin

The Sons Of Odin
(Magic Circle Music - 2006)

The EP starts with The Ascension, the intro been used before - Kings Of Metal DVD - and so I don't know why they put a live version on this EP. Okay, it leads into King Of Kings (live) which also been on the DVD... Not really a bad song, typical Manowar...
With Odin another instrumental intro is coming. Again very bombastic. Gods Of War is the first new song - the intro Odin I won't count, coz it could have been part of the song... - a slow, epic, pathetic song. Beside some trumpets Eric Adams voice is the main instrument in the beginnig. Very heavy riffs and thundering bass are the basis for Mr. Adams. The middle part holds a short guitar solo, but it kinda sounds strange... Out of place. Theatralic and epic this is a convincing song marching on, better then many other songs of Joey DeMaio's band, especially as this time the songs don't sounds like its been hear a thousand times. Last, but not least the title track. Heavy riffing and the same old bass line... pumping bass to support the almost whispered words. The sound of swords... the band joins in, in their own way. And back to the opening theme. The middle part is pathetic again and Logan's guitar solo is lacking inspiration. The following vocal line is anthem-like and live I guess this one will sound pretty good. A nice organ-based outro with spoken words - and its over.
This EP should be an appetizer for the coming album and usually bands present one or two new songs and add some live tracks. But why starting off with the live songs? As it only has 2 new songs I doubt that others then die-hard Manowar fans need this EP. My recommensation keep your money or buy something else.
I only have the basic version of the EP and there is another version called Immortal Edition, but again it seems to me that its all about money. The DVD gives an impression of the soon to come DVD, but its nothing spectacular and everybody should wait til the DVD is out and meanwhile just buy the regular EP.

3 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt

Hell On Earth 4 (DVD)

Hell On Earth 4 (DVD)
(Nuclear Blast - 2005)

"Manowar, Manowar, living on the road, when we're in town speakers explode"! That line sums it up beautifully as a smiling road manager proclaims that blown speakers are 'not an uncommon expense' for them. Many say this band puts out these DVDs as a means to quick cash and should do more studio albums, others lament that, they only put 3 or 4 good songs on their albums anyway so why bother, however for me and many many many others out there love this band and I cannot imagine life without their music. Granted they are somewhat self-indulgent and boastful but fuck, they deserve to be they are the loudest band they do write true metal music and they have fought countless record labels to play metal, they have starved and worked their asses off to be as they are today and no other band deserves finacial wealth as Manowar do. They are the fucking kings of metal!!!! Basically disc 1 features the tour of Warriors Of The World through Europe shots of in stores and highlights from festivals as Gods of Metal and Rockslide. Warriors Of The World gained them massive success in Europe and especially Germany and an appearance on PopKomm Gala doing American Trilogy is featured. Adding to their mainstream success there is also an appearence on what I guess to be the German equal to America's Saturday Night Live TV show called TV Total, here they do the title song and earplugs are given to the audience. A funny interview is given when asked by the host as to why they play so loud Joey De Maio quickly replies that the vibrations from the volume cause women to orgasm! Funny to see a rather smug looking Matt Sinner in the audience as well probably thinking to himself why Sinner or Primal Fear cannot get such a reaction. Another oddity on DVD 1 is the pink van belonging to some Italian fans the thing is pink with Hail To England art. When asked why a pink van the guys could not say other than they get lots of girls in the van. Go figure!! Some titbid footage as expected is shown as well as shots of crazy fans showing off tatoos and t shirts. Live clips of classics as Spirit Horse Of The Chereokee and Master Of The Wind, Army Of Immortals etc round off a very enjoyable first disc. Disc 2 features more mayhem and is more of a tribute to the fans loads of behind the scenes madness!! The powre of Manowar can't be denied here we have video proof of Kai Hansen saying "Manowar is certainly one of the best metal bands of all time." Doro agrees saying that she has been a fan for many years, so too Andre Matos stating how much he loves Manowar. Blaze Bailey says he has to take his Manowar CDs on tour with hhim no less! A touching tale of the web warriors relationship and subsequent marriage is featured here as well. The proposal took place at a Manowar show and it was really col to see true love blossoming through true metal. Naturally Joey must add to the joy at the show after the bride to be said yes by adding that she must also promise to suck and fuck him nightly. A funny segment featuring the motorcycle tech and his mis adventure in love on the road is shown entitled 'employee of the month'. Hey Scott, I want a German wife too!!!! (Eamon). More fan mayhem is shown as well as an interview with Jeff Hair (sound man) on how he handles the board etc. Another highly enjoyable DVD. Bonus material on DVD 2 are all the TV spots including TV Total and Alles Pocher. Disc 3 is the single King Of Kings from the upcoming studio album. It is classic Manowar lyrics with music more akin to Dawn Of Battle.
Great stuff! I love it, no matter how many times people say it's the same. Never will we hear a nu metal riff or some God-awful rap thing from Manowar and for that and of course their great music I will always hold their albums and DVDs in the most high regard.

Eamon O'Connor

Warriors Of The World

Warriors Of The World
(Nuclear Blast - 2002)

quot;Hey guys, we can't deliver another live album neither another video/DVD, so it's time to work..." Six years after Louder Than Hell finally we have another album of originals. The cover remind me of the Kings Of Metal album, but we never get surprised by Manowar covers. I know that the previous album was not very well received by some, but I do like the album, to me it was one of the 96's best. So, it was with great expectation that I wanted to listen to the new one. First, there is no theme called Brothers Of Metal Pt 2, I wonder why there was a Pt. 1 in LTH. Now the songs... Call To Arms and The Fight For Freedom are average Manowar, with nothing new. Nessum Dorma is an opera theme sung in Italian, the only reason to be here is an homage to Eric's mother, but no metal at all and is followed by a small useless instrumental piece. Swords In The Wind starts as an acoustic song, trying to follow Courage, but not as good. An American Trilogy is a waste of time, as well has The March. Then the songs improve a little bit with Warriors Of The World United and Hand Of Doom, but nothing exceptional. For the last two songs, House Of Death is the fastest in the album, typical Manowar only with a silly finish, and Fight Until We Die is an okay song. The overall result is quite disappointing, a complete unbalanced album with three or four average songs and IMHO the worst Manowar album ever.

6 stars

Joao Santos
(guest writer)

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